Were you aware that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was in Cleveland, Ohio? I wasn’t till I started to do some research on Cleveland. As soon as I found out I immediately knew this was something I had to see. I love music and history and was very interested in seeing all the gems they had inside. So of course one of the first things I did when visiting Cleveland was head over there.
Arriving at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, I was excited to see how nice and quiet it was. The perks of going during the week, early afternoon, and in December. That meant I could take as many photos as I wanted without a ton of people around. So of course I had to get the very cool ‘Long Live Rock‘ sign outside of it.
The building looks like a pyramid. I was told that an aerial view would show that it is actually in the shape of a record player. (Not too sure of that though.) It opened in 1995 and has seen more than 10 million visitors since. There is 55,000 square feet of exhibition space over 7 different levels. Although when entering we were on Level 1 the self guided tour actually starts on Level 0. We were able to check in our coats for free and then begin exploring.
There was so much to look at, but trying to figure out where to start was no problem. The exhibits are all numbered to help with that. Everyone from Michael Jackson, The Beatles, David Bowie, Prince, Elvis and so many more amazing influential musicians are featured throughout. Wardrobe, handwritten lyrics, instruments, awards, even Jimi Hendrix’s family couch can be found here.
One of my favorite things to see on this level was Michael Jackson’s wardrobe, especially his gold belt that was very detailed and had baby cherubs on it. They even had his sunglasses, glove, and one of his Grammys on display. Another area that I really liked was the Rapper’s Delight The Story of Hip-Hop area. As a New Yorker and hip-hop getting its start in the Bronx, New York, I was a little hyped! This area of course showcased the pioneers, but also had Flavor Flav’s clock, signed Airforce 1s from Jay-Z, a funky purple jacket from Andre 3000, and so much more.
There are also exhibits that show many different cities including New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Liverpool, and San Francisco, Memphis, and Seattle showing how they helped shaped rock and roll. It was really cool to see and watch the screen with different musical acts while singing along to songs. There was mostly kids there for field trips. Besides them running around and dancing to some of the music it was nice and quiet and going at our own pace was very easy.
If you happen to get hungry the first level has a cafe to get food and beverages. There is also a very cool store with tons of merchandise to choose from. I saw a couple of shirts I really wanted, but unfortunately they weren’t in my size. Quick tip, the Cleveland Airport also has a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame store where you can purchase different items and the prices are a bit on the cheaper side.
This place is interactive. There are plenty of areas where you can listen to different artists. Just throw on some headphones or listen aloud and have some fun. It was also cool to see all the names of all the people who have been inducted and when. Artists are eligible to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first commercial recording.
900 historians, artists, and members of the music industry are sent ballots to vote on who should be in the induction class. They have also extended the voting to fans, but allowing anyone to vote on the nominees. The top 5 vote getters in the public poll and weighed in with the other vote. Every 3 years they hold the induction ceremony in Cleveland, so in April of 2018 the induction ceremony will be there.
The 3rd level has the Power of Rock Experience inside the Connor Theater. It is really cool to watch. They play performances from past induction ceremonies. It honestly feels like you are there live. The bass is going hard and there is a light show to accompany the music. It feels like you are in concert! A must do while there.
Once you are done there you are let out on the 4th level. I stumbled upon a replica of the Rolling Stones office. The 5th and 6th level has more on the 50 years of the Rolling Stones. You could really be here for hours looking around at everything. I can’t even encompass everything that is there. You have to go see for yourself. It was extremely enjoyable. There are plenty of benches around to take a seat and rest your feet for a moment if you do get tired.
So next time you are in or around Cleveland you must pay a visit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. You won’t be disappointed. And if you have been before go again, they are constantly changing and updating all of their exhibits. You will definitely find things you didn’t see before. The next induction ceremony will be held in Cleveland (as it is every 3 years) in April!
Have you ever been to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?
Disclaimer: Thank You to Destination Cleveland and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for having me. Whilst receiving an invitation all opinions and views are my own and have not been influenced.
See more of our time in Cleveland, Ohio.